Oh, those woeful Atlanta Braves.
They already own Major League Baseball’s worst record on the road and today, start a 10-game road trip in Chicago. Their hold on baseball’s best record at home slipped when the Phillies came to the Ted and left with a three-game sweep. There’s talk of Jeff Francoeur needing his favorite teddy bear on the road. (Maybe he and bearish Brian McCann can step up their bromance and tuck each other in for added comfort.)
And now, there’s the psychobabble: When on the road, the Braves suffer from culture shock, so says a psychologist.
“They may be maximizing the differences between playing at home and away,” said Dr. John M. Silva, a professor of sports psychology at the University of North Carolina. Unlike the physical rigors of travel, this creeping mindset “[is] where the athlete’s thinking, ‘Oh, God, we’re going on the road. I don’t play well there, I hate to travel.'”
It gets worse:
“I want to call it a ‘Sports Travel Sub-Culture Shock,'” suggested Michael Brein, aka “The Travel Psychologist.” Social psychologist Brein sees some parallels between visitors to unfamiliar cultures and traveling athletes encountering big, fuzzy, noogie-dispensing mascots and mother-insulting fans.
Let’s hope the now Chipper-less team can eek out a few wins this week and put to rest this troublesome talk of teddys and travel.